Vancouver Whitecaps vs New York City FC MLS Picks
Vancouver Whitecaps vs New York City
It's east against west in a midweek MLS fixture that sees New York City FC travel to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps. Both conferences are extremely tight as we move into the second half of the season, so three points will be absolutely crucial in this match. New York will be looking to cement their position in the top-three in the east while the boys from BC are on the cusp of a playoff position and will be desperate to improve on their current standing.
Vancouver are coming off a poor result against a rampant Chicago Fire side who have just claimed top position on the overall MLS standings. The 4-0 loss may have said more about how good the Fire are going rather than indicate the form of the Whitecaps, but even so there should be little need for extra motivation when Vancouver return home and face another eastern conference team at their home stadium. They also have a couple of games in hand compared with their closest rivals on the table so they will be eager to take as many points as possible from these.
New York will travel west with the benefit of an extra two days rest and will also come into the match off the back of a 3-1 victory against Minnesota United. Ok, so it was at home against the lowest ranked side in the MLS, but these are still games you need to win and FC did this with a reasonable level of comfort. A win in this match will also see them rise to 3rd on the overall standings, at least temporarily, so there is plenty of motivation here as well.
Vancouver White Caps
The Whitecaps have had a mixed bag of a season so far. They have struggled to get on any sort of roll and have managed back-to-back victories just once this season. They come into this fixture without a win since their 3-1 win over Atlanta United on June 3rd, occuring during a string of four consecutive home fixtures that pretty much summed up their season so far - their results were Win, Loss, Win, Draw. As they are coming off a big loss, logic would suggest that they are due to draw or win this one... It's been a strange season!
Statistically, you only need to look at the Whitecaps' offensive record to pinpoint where they have struggled so far this campaign. While it's true that they have played just 16 MLS fixtures which is less than most of their rivals, they have recorded just 21 goals in the competition to date. Only Colorado from the western conference have scored less this season.
Their defensive record is actually quite good - they hold the 3rd best record in the west in terms of goals conceded and have allowed just eight goals from eight matches at home this season. The key to a positive result against a strong New York City side is perhaps their defensive effort, and their defensive players will need to forget Saturday's performance against the Fire and focus on shutting down City's offensive arsenal.
New York City FC
New York City are a team in form. They have taken 13 points from a maximum 15 in their last five fixtures, scoring 11 goals in the process, and are now on the cusp of the top position in the MLS having just secured third on the ladder. These results are arguably skewed as four of their five matches during this period were at home and the only 'away' fixture was across the Hudson River against the Red Bulls. Still, this is a solid achievement and has announced the side's arrival in the 2017 season.
FC have the third best offensive record in the MLS with 34 goals from their 18 matches to date. David Villa has certainly played his part with 11 goals and 6 assists already, and it could even be more considering he has taken the most shots (74) in the league. They have scored 14 goals away from home and impressively have only failed to score in one match - their opening fixture against Orlando City finished in a 1-0 defeat.
New York City have a decent defensive record, conceding just over one goal per match (21 goals in 18 matches, fourth best in the east and sixth overall). They have only managed to keep four clean sheets all season, however this is unsurprising in a league where clean sheets are pretty hard to come by. The team's defensive record away from home is almost identical to their home record, with 11 goals conceded in eight games outside Yankee Stadium.
Based on the above statistical analysis it is difficult to predict a head-to-head result, although based solely on form you would have to go with New York. Both teams are likely to score, so that is certainly one line you could look to when placing a bet. Likewise, you get the feeling that this will be a reasonably high scoring affair - perhaps look at the overs market here. I'm tipping a 2-2 draw.
MLS Soccer Picks This Week
Wednesday night is huge in the context of the MLS season as a number of the top sides in the competition have fixtures. The table could look a whole lot different once the night is complete!
Toronto FC on the road again and will travel to face Orlando SC, a side who dominated proceedings early on in the season only to fall back to the pack in recent weeks. Orlando won six of their first seven fixtures before a form slump saw them win just two of their next twelve. They are coming off a 1-0 win against lowly Real Salt Lake, but are arguably still far from their best and will be up against it when they face Toronto FC for the second time this season.
Toronto won the first match between the two sides this season, although the Reds have been a different prospect away from home, conceding three goals in both of their last away outings to New England and Dallas respectively. This presents a good opportunity for Toronto to address this slide and I expect that they will at least get a point. Look for a 1-1 draw or even a late rally by the away side to snatch it 2-1.
Elsewhere, league leaders Chicago travel to Portland to face the western conference's third placed team. The Fire have silenced all of their critics and have pretty much done a Leicester City-esque turnaround in the last 12 months, and they will be looking to continue their run against Portland who are also doing well this season. Portland have only lost once at home this season, although have not won since June 10th.
I think that Chicago are far too hot at the moment with Nemanja Nikolic in imperious goal-scoring form. Expect him to once again get on the scoresheet and the Fire to take home the three points. This is another fixture where both teams should score - expect a 3-1 win to the away side.
Check below for a list of results and fixtures and as always join us on Facebook to discuss the chances of your team, betting tips and more. Good luck and have a winning week!
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